How good stories can change from no to yes
We have all faced clients who say they are happy with the current situation and NO! to make a change. We use our best value proposition or our latest deal. However, they remain steadfast in their determination not to purchase our product or service or support our cause. In his book: Change, the Heath brothers use stories to describe the conflict between the emotional brain that loves the comfort of the status quo and the rational brain that understands the value of change. In this article, I’ll explain how and why stories are the most effective way to overcome the tension in this conflict and persuade prospects to make a change with your product or service.
Internal conflict in decision making
The Heaths describe the rational brain as the rider and the emotional brain as the elephant. It is the rational brain that wants facts to support a change. He wants certainty. It connects to the part of the brain associated with survival. That area of the brain collects and uses memories of experiences and things that we have learned. It is what protected the caveman from being eaten by a lion or an alligator. It tells us to be careful and make no mistake. But as the Heaths explain, he’s smart. You also see the destination and can calculate the actual value associated with success. Understand the long-term vision and strategy.
While the rational side uses knowledge, the emotional side like the elephant is powerful. This side of the brain wants comfort, but it also wants things like success and pleasure. Feelings motivate you. And look at the pink side of everything. This side of the brain responds to the call to adventure without thinking about the consequences. While the logical brain says, wait a minute. I want adventures too, but have you considered these possible outcomes?
Where most people make a mistake
If you speak to only one side of the brain, your client will respond with a big NO! As an example, in his book: Say to win, Peter Guber, tells the story of two of his presentations. In the first meeting, he presented all the financial facts, speaking only to the logical brain. He thought it was a tremendous multi-million dollar deal and a sure win. He had all the financial details and had diligently prepared for an excellent presentation. But sadly, it was rejected. Peter realized that it was the emotion and participation of the listener that would win the deal. In his second presentation on a different proposal, Peter told a story putting everything in context. The presentation was for an investment with excellent returns. But this time, Peter’s main focus was on the emotional details rather than the financial ones. Investors clamored to get into the deal before they had the details of the finances.
The difference of the story
Why was Peter’s second performance so successful while the first failed? A good story engages the listener and creates a desire to know what happens next. It has a purpose and gives direction. It puts things in context and connects the two sides of the brain.
Increase your chances of success
So how can you significantly increase your chances of getting a resounding YES instead of a NO? Create meaningful and memorable stories that allow the listener to virtually experience the consequences of not deciding to make the change. Motivate your listener by making them feel the need for a change. Give them what the Heath brothers call a destination postcard that allows them to see the benefits of making a change. Be sure to allow you to see the destination in all its glory. Finally, shape the path or show them the steps to success. For example, provide them with a framework that helps them be successful in reaching their destination.
Including all of these elements in a story may seem like a lot, but once you get started, it’s not only successful, it’s fun. I used this method to make multi-million dollar sales in large corporations, as well as small sales in independent companies.